Lord, as we enter into this time of prayer, teach us to be thankful. Despite trying times, there is much for which to be grateful. We thank you, Lord, for our many blessings.
We thank you for this time together, for the opportunity to gather virtually to pray. We thank you for this opportunity of renewal – an involuntary reset.
We thank you for being our rock, foundation, and refuge, for being our God who is faithful in times of abundance as well as our times of need. We thank you for the reminder that a person’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. We thank you for caring neighbors, families and friends, and our renewed awareness of their importance in our lives.
We thank you for showing the world that while this strain of coronavirus is new, the inadequate availability of healthcare for all, the systemic inequities in marginalized communities, the food deserts in our communities, and the structural racism the virus exposes are nothing new. We thank you for the opportunity as a Habitat family to be your committed, faithful servants and to serve our part in righting these wrongs. We thank you for the opportunity and privilege to serve others in need of shelter, and for commitment and passion of our donors and volunteers who also serve in this work.
We thank you for allowing us to see the beauty in the bellow of the blast. We are grateful for the privilege granted to those of us who can spend more time with family, ourselves, walking, talking with extended family and friends, making connections with each other, and to You. We thank you for the helpers -- your Earthly Angels who are helping others, uplifting spirits, and who may be putting their own health at risk to serve others. We thank you for the many heroes, touching lives and saving lives without adulation. We thank you for our ability to gather in our separate places together today. We thank you for our health, and for that of our families.
Lord, we also know that we need you and rely on you like the branches rely on the vine. We come to you as your children in prayer, asking for your blessings, healing, and strength. Grant us wisdom and courage, the ability to discern your direction, and the heart to serve your will. You are a God of Justice, Lord, and we ask you show us how to serve in bringing justice to all the nations.
God, show us how to love, serve and show kindness to:
· those in need of shelter,
· People in Habitat Affiliates, National Organizations and partner organizations,
· Habitat for Humanity International co-workers,
· members of our households,
· our neighbors
Lord, help us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Help to clothe us with Love. Help us to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
Lord, we pray for all of those who have been affected by this pandemic, for families and communities impacted by loss of work and income. We pray for:
· Wisdom – for our leaders, for government and for health care leaders making difficult decisions.
· We pray for Protection and healing –for the Elderly, sick, those most susceptible to disease, and for families that can't visit them. We pray for Health care workers, police, first responders, and service providers on front lines
· And we pray for Hope & encouragement – those who are fearful, alone, anxious.
As we go forward in this first week of the Easter Season, help us as a people to reflect on our lives, our society, and to create a world that is better – more like your Kingdom on Earth.
May we heed the words of Clarence Jordan:
"The proof that God raised Jesus from the dead is not the empty tomb, but the full hearts of his transformed disciples. The crowning evidence that he lives is not a vacant grave, but a spirit-filled fellowship. Not a rolled-away stone, but a carried-away church." – Let us be the “carried-away Church” as we pray that others may see the Resurrected Christ in us.
In thy Holy name we pray,
[Prayer given on 4/14/2020 for Habitat International's morning time of reflection. Edited to remove personal prayer requests.]